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Vatten i vattenglas

Digital twins for innovations in water purification

Many of Sweden's water treatment plants are in great need of refurbishment. The facilities must also cope with climate change and growing cities. Here, digitalization can play an important role and save costs in connection with new construction and refurbishment of waterworks.

IVL runs two Vinnova projects that will explore how open data in digital twins for water treatment plants can contribute to new innovative products and services for efficient and sustainable water treatment. The projects are run in parallel with two different focuses. One focuses on innovation management and the challenges and opportunities that arise when different participants want to collaborate on open data and shared design. The second focuses on practical application and is based on the needs of the project's owners.

Digital copies are beneficial

Having a digital copy of a water treatment plant is advantageous from several perspectives. You always have access to both historical and real-time updated information and can easily simulate new process steps and different operating conditions. They can be linked to new research results or information from other facilities around the world. It offers great savings potential.

In the digital twin, information from hydrological models and water quality measurements can be combined with calculations and scenarios for population growth as well as information about new rules and purification requirements. It provides support for efficient and sustainable planning, construction, management and development of water treatment plants.

Basis for innovative products and services

By sharing designs, models, drawings, services or software and reusing data from several different sources, new innovative products and services can emerge. There is great potential for linking digitalization, innovation and sustainable development.

In the projects, we look at the conditions for innovation ecosystems, where different organizations work together to develop smart products and services. A broad team of participants is included in the projects, with knowledge in environmental and sustainability research, digitization, interactive products, technology and design. In addition, three users and stakeholders (who own the project's results) are included: Borås Energi & Miljö, the City of Gothenburg, the Kretslopp och Vatten administration and Trollhättan Energi.

Project facts

  • Open data, shared design and digital twins in innovation ecosystems for critical infrastructure/ Open Waters Digital Twin
  • Budget: 6,2 MSEK
  • Financier: Vinnova
  • Partners: Led by IVL Swedish Environmental Institute and carried out in collaboration with Rise Interactive, the Department of Integrated Product Development at KTH, Virtual Cities of Sweden, Hagström Consulting, Borås Energi & Miljö, the City of Gothenburg and Trollhättan Energi.
  • Period: 2018 - 2021


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